Thursday, March 31, 2016

History: The Year is 1756

I've uploaded year 1756 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Longitude Project is Delayed... Again -- The 7 Years' War has caused a delay in testing, but Harrison set out to develop his 4th clock, a mariner's watch. I talk about GPS and how it is important to remember how to do things manually.

Mozart is born! -- I mostly talk about music and popular movies. Much of his music is instantly recognizable.

A Few Happenings -- German chocolate, Aaron Burr and the Black Hole of Calcutta.

The Longitude Project is Delayed... Again

The 7 Years' War has disrupted the testing of the 3rd version of the marine chronometer designated H-3. It is small enough to fit into the captains cabin. Amazing! But the British Longitude Board is worried that H-3 might be captured or destroyed. The inventor, John Harrison, has taken 19 years to build H-3. John is in his 60s. How many more clocks can he make? Currently, navigators find their position using a process called "dead reckoning" or "deduced reckoning" by plotting from a known position and then estimating based on assumed speed, and time. This procedure often results in sailing past a destination without realizing it, or unexpectedly running into a destination really, really hard. An early sextant uses astronomical objects to find a position at sea but they haven't figured it all out yet. (In other words, it stinks.) Despite the delays, Harrison has begun work on an even greater invention: H-4... the first marine pocket watch. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In a world of GPS apps for your SmartPhone, it is easy to know where you are at all times, but GPS can be spoofed. (University of Texas engineers showed how it can be done.) Our new tools are wonders, but we still need to know how to perform this task the old-fashioned way. Knowing how to use our old tools gives us a fallback position. It's like the problem with cash registers that lose power and suddenly, the guy behind the counter no longer knows how to make change. Don't be that guy. The early marine chronometers were very expensive, which made the cheaper sextant quite popular. Once they mass-produce Harrison's watch, the price dropped considerably, but sextants have remained useful. A quick search of Amazon shows several available for under $60. [3] [4]

Mozart is born!

We call him Amadeus Mozart (am-ah-DAY-us Moh-zart), which is simple compared to his real name. Mozart is not simple, though. He is a musical genius! By age 5 he will be composing his own music, playing the violin and performing before royalty. By 35 he will be dead, buried in a common grave. His country will one day be called Austria. His father is a violinist and music teacher. His mother comes from a musical family. Mozart is a child prodigy and more. He will compose over 600 pieces of music and many of them will remain popular into the modern day. [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The names of his most popular pieces will be meaningless to the average listener, but once you hear them, they will be instantly familiar because they are in the background of so many movies including The Net starring Sandra Bullock, and even the children's movie, Richie Rich. The movie about Mozart's life is the Academy Awarding winning Amadeus. It is still worth watching, although the story about his rivalry with a lesser court composer is total BS. It makes for good drama, though, while listening to some of Mozart's best work. Here are a few links:
A Little Night Music
The Marriage of Figaro
Symphony 40
Symphony 25
Motzart's Requium from the movie, Amadeus.

A Few Happenings

  • German Chocolate is made in Germany. It is their first chocolate factory. [6]
  • Aaron Burr is born. He will shoot dead Alexander Hamilton in a duel. [6]
  • 120 British Soldiers die in the Black Hole of Calcutta, India. (That's a dungeon in Fort William.) If you ever wondered how Great Britain came to rule over India, it has already begun. The 7 Years' War has come to India. [7] [6]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1756, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

History: The Year is 1755

I've uploaded year 1755 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Shaking One's Faith -- The Great Lisbon Earthquake shakes the faith of Europe in the idea of Divine Providence.

Stop the Language! I Want to Get Off! -- Samuel Johnson publishes the Dictionary of the English Language which will be the Standard until the early 20th century.

The Expulsion of the Acadians -- Nova Scotia is their home but they refuse to swear allegiance to the British crown so they are dispersed. This action kicks off the Seven Years' War.

Shaking One's Faith

It is 9:40 in the morning, after All Hallows Eve (Halloween). Suddenly the earth opens up. Cracks 15 feet wide swallow up anyone and anything. A 9.0 earthquake hits over 100 miles off the coast of Lisbon. Buildings collapse. Fires start, and 40 minutes later, a wall of water pushes up the river and travels inland for over 100 miles. Lisbon is in ruins. Thousands upon thousands are dead. How many? No one really knows. 10,000? At least. 100,000? Could be. The shaking can be felt all the way to Germany where it frightens a 6-year-old girl, Caroline Herschel (HER-shell), and her older brother, William. They will dedicate themselves to science because it is clear they cannot depend upon Divine Providence. And the French philosopher, Voltaire, will feel compelled to write his critical novel, Candide, on the "best of all worlds" philosophy called optimism. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just to be clear, after the Great Lisbon earthquake, Europeans still believed in God, but they were no longer expecting God to protect them. Even today, people will credit God whenever they survive a disaster. That is fine, but one must use caution with that type of thinking. Remember the old joke of the man of faith turning away offers of help from his neighbors as the flood waters rise. He exclaims, "Don't worry! God will save me!" And as he waits, he drowns. When he goes to Heaven, he reminds God that he has perfect faith and asks why God never saved him. God answers, "I sent your neighbors." Faith in God is not protective magic. Nevertheless, faith can be extremely helpful. In the midst of suffering, knowing that God is by one's side can be of immense value.

Stop the Language! I Want to Get Off!

At one time Samuel Johnson thought to standardize the English language so that it might stay the same, with proper rules of grammar and spelling that did not change. But looking at the history of language, he can find no example of a successful effort. It is like "lashing the wind" or "tying down the breeze" since modern English hardly uses the word "lash" to mean "secure or tie down" any more. It now means "to whip or to strike". This year Samuel Johnson publishes his Dictionary of the English Language. For many years to come, his work will define proper English, but the hopes of future English teachers will be dashed... as he predicted. Language changes. [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The novelist Tom Clancy told a story of his visit to a classroom to speak to the students about writing. He explained how important it was to know the elements of language and to use them properly. The teacher stood in the back of the classroom nodding sagely. Then Clancy told the students to ask their teacher about Samuel Johnson and his accomplishments. He looked into the teachers face and realized that she had absolutely no idea whatsoever who Samuel Johnson was. As he told that story, I realized that I didn't know who Samuel Johnson was either. I'd heard the name, but couldn't recall who he was. So I looked him up. He was the most important source on the English language until the Oxford English Dictionary was published in all 10 volumes in 1928. Thank You, Tom Clancy. I'm listening to a Tom Clancy audiobook right now. (Executive Orders). [9] [10]

The Expulsion of the Acadians

This is not Canada. This is not Quebec. This is Nova Scotia which is the land of the French Acadians. The British gained control of the region in the early 1700s, but the Acadians refuse to swear allegiance to the King of England. With the French and Indian War in its infancy, the British decide to expel the Acadians from their lands and move them to other British colonies such as Massachusetts or to Great Britain or France. The expulsion happens in two waves, and thousands of Acadians die either of disease or due to the hazards of travel. Longfellow will write an epic poem of the Expulsion of the Acadians by focusing on one Acadian, the fair (and fictional) Evangeline. [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Yes. Like the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, most people know of the Expulsion of the Acadians because of Longfellow's poem, Evangeline, published in 1847. I read the beginning of it but I'm not a poetry fan, so I gave up on it. Apparently the Acadians had been giving the British trouble for decades so the British wanted to break up any unified resistance. By separating the Acadians, they actually destroyed the economic base of the region. This expulsion, more than anything else, kicked off the Seven Years' War or as it was called in the British-American colonies, the French and Indian War.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1755, Wikipedia.

History: The Year is 1754

I've uploaded year 1754 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

What Caused the French and Indian War? -- Peace. Also George Washington fought the French in the French and Indian War.

Captain Bligh and Mutiny on the Bounty -- Yes. He was real. The ship was real and Mr Christian was real.

Other Important Births -- Marie Antoinette, Louis the 16th and Thomas Bowdler whose name means censorship.

What Caused the French and Indian War?

Peace. All Fredrick the Great wants is peace. (For a little while.) In a fit of despair, the Holy Roman Empress conceded Lower Silesia to him and with her concession, troops of the alliances on both sides could focus on other battle fronts. In the last few years, French troops have encroached upon the British-American colonies. They have invaded along three fronts: 1. in Nova Scotia, 2. in New England and 3. down the Ohio River Valley. Currently, Britain is not paying much attention to these skirmishes, but by next year, the situation will fly out of control. The coming war will be wide-ranging and have many names including the Seven Years' War (in English-speaking Canada), the War of the Conquest (in French-speaking Canada), and the French and Indian War (in the British-American colonies). The war will extend to Europe, Africa and Asia with each having their own war names. This is a world war, no matter what name you put on it. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Did Colonel George Washington start a world war at the age of 22? He was ordered to the Ohio River Valley (which is now western Pennsylvania) to deliver a letter of demand to the French to vacate. The French refused. Then Washington was ordered to "hold the forks of the Ohio" which is near Pittsburgh, so he built Fort Necessity and this is where things get fuzzy. Somehow a French patrol was ambushed and the head of a French diplomat was crushed by a tomahawk or who-knows-what. Then the French attacked Fort Necessity which was makeshift, poorly sited and after a rain, the gunpowder was wet. The French gave Washington a chance to surrender and return to Virgina. He accepted. When he returned with his troops he expected to be dressed down. Instead, he was congratulated (probably because Washington managed to disentangle himself from a straight up fight which he would have lost). Did George Washington start a war? I seriously doubt it. The French and Indian War started based on too many troops having too little to do and British colonial governors escalating the fight. [1] [3]

Captain Bligh and Mutiny on the Bounty

William Bligh is born this year in England. He will eventually grow up to captain the HMS Bounty in 1787. On a voyage to transplant Tahitian breadfruits to the West Indies, his crew will become a little too familiar with the Tahitian girls. The sexual practices of the Tahitian natives can be quite disarming to the average British sailor, and discipline will break down. The captain will attempt to reassert discipline in what will seem to the modern person as cruel and unusual punishment. This will become a source of discontent amongst his crew. Lieutenant Fletcher Christian will lead the crew in a mutiny, put the captain and his supporters into a launch and set them adrift. They will find land, and Captain Bligh will sail the launch back to England (Wow!) where he will charge Fletcher Christian and the others with mutiny. The British navy will send out a ship to round up the mutineers. Of those captured, 4 will be acquitted, 3 pardoned and 3 hanged. Only one other mutineer will ever be found but Lieutenant Christian will be murdered by his companions on an island far from home some time before 1808. [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Mutiny Act applied to the Army as well as the Navy. It was renewed and emended ANNUALLY during those years beginning in 1689. It was not a "Pass and Forget" law. It extended wartime punishments to peacetime transgressions probably because the Parliament and the King were nervous about a rebellious army. Most people can understand that if a soldier or sailor deserts in the heat of battle, he is subject to a court martial and capital punishment if found guilty, but it is difficult to understand such punishments for peacetime infractions. Nevertheless, it was true that if a sailor was happy in Tahiti and decided to "miss" the boat, he was subject to the death penalty even if all the ship was doing was transporting plants to the West Indies. Lesser punishments such as whipping were considered perfectly reasonable. [5]

Other Important Births

  • Marie Antoinette. She will be Queen Consort of France. It is doubtful she ever said "Let them eat cake," but French law placed price controls on bread so that if bread was not available then bakers were to sell cake at the lower price. I suppose the French aristocrats "lost their head" on that one. Eh? [6]
  • King Louis the 16th of France. Otherwise known as the husband of Marie Antoinette. He will want to be loved by his people. (I'm not kidding.) As a consequence, he will get the guillotine early in 1793. His wife will lose her head later that year. [7]
  • Thomas Bowdler. "Bowdlerize" means censorship. He will publish an edition of Shakespeare with all the naughty parts removed. He will become the model the early television censorship boards. [8]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1754, Wikipedia.

Monday, March 28, 2016

History: The Year is 1753

I've uploaded year 1753 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Between Prejudice and Principle -- The Jews are made naturalized citizens.... and then not. I talk about how in the Age of Enlightenment certain people understand that prejudice is wrong, but they can't make the right thing happen.

The Marriage Act... A Comedy -- A marriage license is now required and you must be 21 or have permission of your parents. I also talk about one of the first comic books that addresses this subject.

Oh Say Can You See? -- James McHenry is born. I talk a little bit about the Star Spangled banner.

Between Prejudice and Principle

Something profound is changing in the thinking of Europe and Great Britain. This is the Age of Enlightenment and it is expressed in a change in British Law this year. The law treats Jews as foreigners, so Jews must pay a foreigners tax to do business. The law also states that overseas trade with its colonies can only be conducted between British subjects. With 1% of the Jews in New York doing 12% of the overseas business with Great Britain, the law has come into conflict with reality... and for no good reason. Most of Parliament and King George the 2nd find it barbaric that the Jews should be treated differently from any other British subject, so they pass a law making Jews into naturalized citizens. Unfortunately, his law causes such an uproar with the rank-and-file that it will be repealed next year. The basic elements of naturalization will have to be won in the courts. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI: one of the fellows who pushed for this law was Josiah Tucker, an economist. He predicted that once the American colonies no longer required British support, they would break away. He didn't exactly predict war, but he was the first to anticipate the American Revolution. And keep in mind that Europe will bounce back and forth on the issue of how to treat "the others who are not like us". That is why they are struggling today with the issue of Syrian refugees flooding across their borders. They are worried that they are still prejudiced like their ancestors were. Yet, instead of thinking about how many people can they fit into the boat called Europe without sinking, they are worried about being called racists. As a consequence Europe is well on its way to sinking AND being called racist. We can look back and laugh at our ancestors as they struggled between their prejudices and their principles, but I wonder what future generations will find to laugh at when they look back at our generation? [4] [5] [6] (Optional) What would I do? I'd take only women and children refugees, hand a rifle to every able-bodied man under 60 and send him back. If he wants to fight for freedom in his own country, I'm willing to help him out. If he doesn't care, then why should I care about his country or him, for that matter?

The Marriage Act... A Comedy

If you say you are married, then you are married. (A religious ceremony is acceptable but not required.) Promises are made. Gifts on condition of marriage are given. Contracts are negotiated and when everyone is agreeable, you consummate the marriage... or maybe before that. If something goes wrong in the midst of these negotiations, you need some serious legal help sorting out who-said-what-to-whom. If I put out money for an expensive ring and then find out that she is already engaged to three other guys and her pet cat, I should be able to get the ring back. And it works the other way too. If a young miss has given up on other suitors in order to marry me and then I skip out, she should be able to keep the ring. In order for the courts to sort out these cases, the English Parliament passes a law requiring that all marriages be licensed by the state, and that a ceremony take place or that a public announcement be made. Both parties must be 21 years of age or older, unless given permission by their parents. (Jews and Quakers are exceptions to this marriage law.) This is the first time that modern law imposes regulations rather than guidelines for marriage. [2] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... this was a popular law because after the 1750s people were worried about verbal promises not being fulfilled or being misunderstood. In fact, the first comic books appear at this time and the most popular one covers what happens when young Tom promises marriage to a fair young lass, AND she is pregnant. Then Tom's father dies so Tom comes into a considerable inheritance. Suddenly he forgets his promises and starts frequenting bordellos. It is called sequential art. It won't be called a "comic" until the 1840s. Also two of the most popular plays in the 1700s are comedies based on this idea of making promises to marry and then everything falling apart on technicalities. I have seen this theme over and over again in situational comedies where a couple is married for a long time and suddenly find out that because the preacher failed to do something correctly (fill-in-the-blank-with-some-technicality) the couple is not really married. They have a second chance to decide if they want to be married. This actually happened to my wife and me when we discovered a flaw in our marriage contract. (Yes. I married her again.) [2] [8] [9]

Oh Say Can You See?

  • James McHenry is born. He will be a surgeon during the American Revolution, an aide to General George Washington and the 3rd Secretary of War under President George Washington and President John Adams. Fort McHenry will be named after him and during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key will write an inspirational poem about the Battle of Baltimore called the "Defence of Fort M'Henry", or better known as the Star-Spangled Banner. [2] [10]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1753, Wikipedia.

Friday, March 25, 2016

History: The Year is 1752

I've uploaded year 1752 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The First Chill Wind of Revolution -- A French minister writes in his memoirs that the nobility should be destroyed. I quote from Alexis de Tocqueville.

The Liberty Bell Is Cast Again and Again -- It was not called the Liberty Bell until the 1830s, and myths abound.

Too Important not to Mention -- Franklin, electricity and Betsy Ross.

The First Chill Wind of Revolution

The French nobility admit it. In this age of science and reason, an aristocracy set above the people by an agency of the Divine seems ridiculous even to themselves. There are far too many incompetents who have inherited or bought their positions rather than earned it through merit. (The exception being the military rank of major and lieutenant colonel which are merit ranks.) While King Louis the 15th was fighting the War of Austrian Succession, he left the governance of France in the hands of two brothers, one of which wrote these chilling words this year... [1]
The race of great lords must be destroyed completely. -- René Louis de Voyer. [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Now you know why the French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville (TOH-keh-vill). was traveling through the United States of America in the early 1830s and taking notes. He wanted to find out how France could make a safe transition from an aristocracy to a democracy. In 1835, he published, Democracy in America, a book that many people quote from, but few have read. So let's quote from it. (No tears, please.) [4]
On Taxes: "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it." [5]
On the Evils of the Press: "In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates." [5]
On the Sheeple: "In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." [5]
On Despotism: "The foremost, or indeed the sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex, is simplified, and reduced as it were to a single principle." [5]
On Our Greatness: The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. [5]

The Liberty Bell Is Cast Again and Again

The Pennsylvania legislature needs a bell for the State House to summon legislators to session and to alert the public. Casting bells is beyond the expertise of the colonials so they order one from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in England. It weighs 12 tons and bears the inscription "Proclaim Liberty thro' all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.-Levit. XXV. 10." Pennsylvania is not prepared to install the bell yet so workers mount it on a frame and hit it. CRACK! Everyone is dismayed, but a couple of foundry workers recast the bell, adding copper and pewter to make the metal less brittle. They try it again, but now the tone seems unpleasant. They order another bell from England. It also sounds terrible so they give up. The newest bell is installed under the roof of the State House and the recast bell is installed in the steeple. The State House will eventually be renamed Independence Hall but the bell in the steeple will remain unnamed. It will also remain uncracked until some time between 1817 and 1846. No one will be able to recall when or how it will happen but stories will abound. And while we are talking about stories... no one in particular rang the steeple bell on the 4th of July, 1776 but most historians agree that it was probably rung along with every other bell in the city. The actual label "Liberty Bell" won't be used until the 1830s when abolitionists (who oppose slavery) will use the bell as their symbol and call it the Liberty Bell. The name will stick. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is a 4th bell. In case you've lost track, we have the original BELL 1, which was recast using additional metals into BELL 2. BELL2 is what we normally call "The Liberty Bell." There is also BELL 3 which was installed under the roof of the State House. So... where did BELL 4 come from? On the Bicentennial celebration of US independence from Great Britain, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry decided to make good on the Liberty Bell and cast a fourth bell with the inscription reading:
4 JULY 1976
Several jokesters decided to picket the Foundry claiming that the British had sold Americans a bum product. With tongue firmly in cheek, the Foundry agreed to refund the money after the Americans returned the Liberty Bell in its original packaging.

Too Important not to Mention

* Benjamin Franklin proves that lightening is a form of electricity. (It is doubtful he used a kite and key.) [9] [10]
* Betsy Ross is born. Did she really make that flag? No documented proof. Just a family tradition. [11]
* Eye-gouging is now a felony in Virginia. Ouch! [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1752, Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

History: The Year is 1751

I've uploaded year 1751 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Countess Eva is Back! Keeping Us Safe from Ourselves - Women are using rat poison to make them look better. And they are eating it too! Countess Eva has found a safe substitute.

Helping the Poor Without Using Taxpayer Money... Directly -- Benjamin Franklin finds a way to fund the first hospital in the American colonies.

For Your Information -- James Madison is born and other tidbits.

Countess Eva is Back! Keeping Us Safe from Ourselves

Arsenic trioxide or "white arsenic" is a powder often mixed with vinegar and chalk and used in certain cosmetics and folk medicines. Women actually eat this concoction in order to make their faces paler. (I feel paler already.) Women also rub this substance into their skin. Unfortunately, white arsenic tends to poison women with repeated exposure depending on the dose. Countess Eva Ekeblad of Sweden has been experimenting with alternatives to white arsenic for cosmetics and has hit upon the use of the potato flower as a substitute. Her ultimate goal is to convince the public to actually EAT potatoes, but how hard can this be? They are already eating poison! Using white arsenic as a dietary supplement will continue until 1858 when a Bradford candy-maker will accidentally use white arsenic as a filler. 20 people will die and white arsenic will finally be perceived by the public as a dangerous poison. (It is still used in certain homeopathic cures so use caution.) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In my younger days I was a professional clown. I was actually on stage at Circus Circus. (For about 5 seconds!) I was taught by professionals, and when you do it right, clowning is serious business. Clown makeup in the old days was miraculous stuff. It spread like the finest cream and held like iron throughout a rough and tumble performance. Unfortunately, it might kill you over time but what profession isn't dangerous? Government regulation finally banned this type of make-up. Nevertheless, I continued to use the last of my old make up until it finally ran out. The new makeup is good. Don't get me wrong, but it is a little tricky to use. From this experience I learned that government regulation is a balancing act. On the one hand, I don't want manufacturers putting dangerous chemicals into cosmetics and foods. On the other hand, regulations cannot protect me from everything including myself. I'm still waiting for the warning label on my dinnerware that reads, "Use caution. Knives are are sharp!" or "Do not stick this fork in your eye!" There are real dangers out there, but as individuals, we need to use our heads for more than just a hat rack. Nothing in life is risk free. The question is, what am I willing to live with or potentially die with? That question has an answer that we confront every time we drive our car or bite down on a sandwich. [7] [8]

Helping the Poor Without Using Taxpayer Money... Directly

Over the years, Benjamin Franklin's discussion group has blossomed into a subscription library, a fire brigade, a neighborhood patrol and the University of Pennsylvania! Individual members of the group are presenting ideas, improving upon them and most importantly ... IMPLEMENTING THEM. Dr. Thomas Bond wants to establish a hospital for the poor and the stranger (meaning non-residents). However, donations are slow. Then Franklin comes up with an idea. Some people want a hospital for their own community needs. Other people want to be charitable, but don't want their donation to be lost in the sinkhole of a building fund, so Franklin proposes to the legislature to build a community hospital ON CONDITION that a private fund be established of a certain size. (Really big.) The interest on that fund will pay the expenses of the poor and the stranger. Thus, by passing a law, the legislature is using the taxpayer's money for the direct benefit of the taxpayer, while getting credit for being charitable, even though they haven't coughed up a single dime for the poor. It also works on the psychology of the donors since their money is helping the poor rather than helping the building fund. It is a win-win! Franklin feels a little bad about using this subterfuge, but not so bad that it prevents him from succeeding at it. [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. This is not exactly the right way to do things based on principle, but it feels right. Public and private funds are technically kept separate. If this was as far as we ever went with something like this, I think most people would be OK with it. You use taxpayer funds for the infrastructure while allowing the funds from charity to be used for that purpose... charity. The problem is that some people think that they can get credit for charity by picking my pocket and forcing me to pay. Paying for a road, a school or a hospital makes sense to me. Even if I don't like a particular road, school or hospital, I can see the logic behind it. Forcing me to pay for your misfortune is different. I understand that bad luck happens. Heck! It happened to me I am now handicapped and home-bound, but I paid EXTRA insurance premiums to cover this very possibility. I wasn't counting on the tax payers to bail me out. (Or not much, anyway.) But the question is: Do I want the government to force everyone to pay big insurance premiums to cover every bad thing that might happen? (Please don't make me use bad words. I'm trying to cut back.)

For Your Information

* George the 3rd becomes heir apparent of Great Britain after his father dies from a sporting injury. [11] [12]
* James Madison is born. He will become the 4th President of the USA and his wife, Dolley Madison, will have nothing to do with cupcakes or twinkies. [12]
* And the beginning of the year is changed from March to January in Great Britain. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1751, Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

History: The Year is 1750

I've uploaded year 1750 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The London Police and Racy Romance Novels -- The first London police force is founded by a guy who writes racy romance novels. In particular he is famous for writing "Tom Jones".

Henry Knox and Logistics, Logistics, Logistics -- General Knox was actually a bookseller. He read a lot of military books. I also talk about Fort Knox and fake gold.

Hassidic Judaism is Founded -- If you've heard of it, you know how important this event is... for better or worse... probably better.

The London Police and Racy Romance Novels

London has 15,000 streetlamps, but they throw a feeble light. Frankly you won't see gas-lamps on the streets until hoop-skirts disappear at the turn of the century. Public drunkenness and crime is on the rise. One takes his life in his hands going out at night and instead of using a whistle to call for help, people swing a clacker or grogger... a wooden ratchet that makes noise as it turns. This device is still in use on the Jewish holiday of Purim (POOR-um). With all this crime and noise going on in London, WHERE ARE THE POLICE? The government is depending on the power of citizen arrest and offering rewards to turn in known criminals. London residents hire watchmen and bodyguards to repel the riff-raft and they hire private detectives to solve crimes petty crimes... until now. Henry Fielding is a magistrate who has taken it upon himself to organize the first London police force. It will begin with 6 men and they won't be patrolling. They will be issuing writs and official demands from the magistrate out of his Bow Street office. Thus the new policemen will be called the Bow Street Runners. (They actually hate this name, but what can you do?) Funding will be sketchy, but their work will draw government attention to the need for public law enforcement. It won't be long before a force with recognizable police duties will be established. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Henry Fielding was not only the founder of the first London police force. He also wrote racy romance novels. Fielding is actually famous for writing "Tom Jones," a novel with sexual situations so base and crude (for 1750) that the novel was not considered appropriate for sensible readers. The novel was also hilarious, so sales were fairly brisk. Some historians call "Tom Jones" the first modern novel, but the teenage romance novel "Pamela" had been published a few years earlier and it was still popular. In any case, "Tom Jones" is considered Fielding's greatest work and a "must read" novel. (I have only read excerpts but it looks like a situational comedy with adult situations.) [6]

Henry Knox and Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

Henry Knox is born this year to a Scotch-Irish parents in Boston, Massachusetts. Knox will be mostly self-educated. He will open a bookshop in Boston and become a witness to the Boston Massacre while trying to convince the British soldiers to return to their barracks. His bookshop will specialize in military history, and in reading his own product, he will become an expert in military strategy. As the American Revolution gets started, Knox will suggest to General George Washington that he could bring the cannons south from Fort Ticonderoga for use at the Siege of Boston. Washington will approve Colonel Knox's plan... which will include an INSANE journey in the middle of winter moving several tons of cannon through the snow and ice over hundreds of miles. He will seal his legend by SUCCEEDING and eventually be promoted to Major General. He will follow Washington from battle to battle, managing the artillery logistics. When the United States is formed, Henry Knox will be appointed as the first Secretary of War. [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Fort Knox, Kentucky was established after the Civil War. It became the location for the United States Bullion Depository in 1936 and presumably gold bullion is stored at the site. I say "presumably" because when Congressman Ron Paul demanded to inspect the Fort Knox installation, he was denied. Perhaps he was just grandstanding, but it made me wonder what is actually being stored at Fort Knox? Ron Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul, has NOT made a demand to inspect Fort Knox gold, but he agrees that auditing government resources is important. I have seen reports of gold bars with all the proper stamps having tungsten cores. That doesn't mean that the Fort Knox gold has been similarly debased, but these sort of reports make me nervous. I'd like to see an audit, but I'm not holding my breath. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Hassidic Judaism is Founded

The Polish Rabbi's name is not as well know as his special title is: the Baal Shem Tov (BAH-AWL SHEM TOHV). The Rabbi disagrees with the rote Jewish educational methods. He emphasizes the spiritual over the ritual (although he does ritual just fine.) An entire new movement of Judaism is established called Hassidic Judaism (or Pious Judaism). It is a charismatic movement and when the Rabbi dies, the movement will split into several subgroups which will move in various directions promoting Jewish mysticism. [14] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've been vague here because a technical discussion of the movement will not benefit a general audience. I am NOT a member of this Jewish sect, but I get along fine with them. I am glad to pray with them. I also think that their approach to Jewish mysticism is reasonable. I believe that Jewish mysticism can be harmful and misleading, but these fellows manage to break it down into manageable chunks. I can never be a member of this group because of technical religious issues. My rabbi doesn't like this group at all and I think I make him nervous that I'm actually civil to them. Nevertheless, I am civil to people who are civil to me. So there.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1750, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

History: The Year is 1749

I've uploaded year 1749 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Selling Your Soul for Rock-and-Roll -- Goethe is born. He is the author of Faust: a Tragedy, an epic poem about a man who sells his soul to the devil. You know this story because it is used over and over again, but it all begins with Faust.

It is Hell Pumping Water -- J.K. Hell is pumping water out of a gold mine using his new pumping system. He is a hero! Less of a hero is a man named Euler who is good at design but not building.

France Is Flipping It's Wig! -- The wigmakers guild has a racket going. It benefits from its monopoly AND from illegal wigmaking too.

Selling Your Soul for Rock-and-Roll

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (GOO-tah) is born in Frankfurt in the province of Hesse, and he will grow up to be a poet and a natural scientist. He will theorize that plants changed into their present form through the ages... an evolutionary idea. But he will be known best as the author of the poem, Faust, a Tragedy. Faust is a character who sells his soul for worldly knowledge... and then immediately uses his new found power to knock up a teenage girl, proving once again that no matter how big a brain a man has, he still has to watch out for the little brain. The poem and play will be considered Germany's greatest contribution to literature. Every play, movie or TV show thereafter, where the hero sells his soul for power, fame, or glory will be a variation on this theme. The most ridiculous adaptation will be Brian De Palma's film, "The Phantom of the Paradise" (1974) in which a songwriter will sell his soul for rock-and-roll! Finally, Goethe (GOO-tah) will be a founding member of the Strum und Drang literary movement which means: "Storm and Stress". It features characters driven by extreme emotions. Oddly enough, in 1776 a German play of the Strum und Drang movement will use the American Revolution as its subject. The name of the play will be: Strum und Drang, naturally. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I hate poetry but I've read a couple from Goethe (GOO-tah) and they are actually good, even in translation. He also has a string of quotes that are fabulous. Here are a few...
"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." [7]
Investigate what is, and not what pleases. [7]
One never goes so far as when one doesn't know where one is going. [7]
There is strong shadow where there is much light. [7]
More light! (His last words.) [7]

It is Hell Pumping Water

Jozef Karol Hell is a mining engineer who needs to pump the water out of existing gold mines in what is modern day Slovakia. The current system of pumping stations cannot handle the load, mostly because it is so labor intensive, employing over a thousand men and horses. It just isn't worth the trouble unless he can find a cheaper way to pump the water out. The current steam-powered pumps are too weak. He'd like to use something like a water wheel to power the pumps but there is no handy stream, so he builds a number of water reservoirs (far away), collects the winter snow runoff and channels the water several miles past a system of water wheels. Then a piston and rod pump pulls the water out of the mine. He will build 8 of these pumps and keep the gold mines open. [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. I'll admit that I viewed one barely legible drawing so I can only guess how this pump worked. I can tell you that this effort was amazingly better than what Fredrick the Great of Prussia did IN THE SAME YEAR simply to fill his fountains. He hired a mathematical theorist on hydraulics named Euler and put him to work on a pumping system. Euler was sharp in hydraulic design but his practical experience with pumping water was ZERO! The project failed so Fredrick the Great hired another guy who convinced him to build a reservoir far away and then pipe the water toward the fountain. His theory was that the weight of the water would carry it past the low point and up to the fountains. (I assume he thought it would pick up speed.) All the water did was to fill up the low point of the piping system and sit there. Euler and the fountains stand as an object lesson to all engineers that what happens on paper often is not what happens in real life. [12]

France Is Flipping It's Wig!

The Barber-Wigmaker and Bath Provider Guild takes a very dim view of non-guild members making wigs. Only proper and paid up guild members should cut hair, bathe people and make wigs! It's the law! (Who could argue with that?) The penalty for the unauthorized wig-making is 300 livres (3.24 ounces of gold or roughly $4,000). Yet despite the sensible rules for quality control and onerous penalties, illicit wig-making continues to flourish. (Gentlemen! Have you no shame?) Bakers are also involved since hair is often baked in bread to enhance its moisture. A baker's hair tax has been imposed and rules are discussed regarding separating the hair-baking from normal baking to reduce cross-contamination. (I assume they mean the contamination of the BREAD WE EAT!) Illicit wig making is a crime against the state, so strict police measures can be invoked if requested by guild members. The guild will push for enforcement but only so much. Illicit wig-making actually benefits the guild members in some ways if not the guild as a whole. [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. This was a racket. A proper wigmaking license was around $27,000 in 2016 dollars (which was often resold at an even higher price). Licenses were inheritable and a license holder could rent out his license. However, the King would issue licenses based the number needed. If there was a shortage, he would issue more... which would reduce the entry price for new wigmakers, which would cause more wigmakers to seek licenses, which would cause the King to issue more licenses... and so forth. To keep the entry price high and maintain their semi-monopoly, the guild made it appear that there were enough licenses to go around, so they didn't complain too much. Then there was the "double renting" of licenses. If I can rent my license to Joe then why can't I rent to Joe and Bill at the same time? Who would know? Well... the French tax collectors noticed that they were collecting twice the tax on the same license. Hooray! And frankly, the guild members were hiring the illicit wigmakers to do some of the labor-intensive work, so everyone knew! It was a real racket. FYI: this segment is a summary from a single source, but I felt compelled to point out that guilds have less to do with quality and more to do with monopoly.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1749, Wikipedia.

Monday, March 21, 2016

History: The Year is 1748

I've uploaded year 1748 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Wooly Beginnings of the Industrial Age -- Someone has invented a machine that separates wool and cotton into fibers for processing into yarn and thread, but he's being paid the same as if he is doing it by hand! Shhhhh! It's a secret.

Elimination of the Income Tax... DENIED! -- The King of France PROMISED that once the war was over he would suspend the income tax... but just like one of Bill Clinton's promises, it's not going to happen.

The Wooly Beginnings of the Industrial Age

Great Britain has been cracking down on cheap imports from India in order to keep British subjects working, but the British textile industry keeps finding ways to cut labor costs and speed production! The labor intensive part of the industry is "carding" which is the separation of wool and cotton into workable fiber. Then laborers (usually unmarried women) use a drop-spindle to hand spin the fibers into thread and yarn. The equipment is simple and easy to learn, but only a knucklehead would do it this way in commercial quantities. Spinning wheels have existed for 500 years in the Middle East, but they aren't allowed into Europe because they believe that increased production-per-employee will mean lower profits and more unemployment. Apparently, creating a larger textile market through lower prices and greater demand hasn't occurred to them. Currently, raw wool and cotton are dropped off at homes and small factories and 2 weeks later the finished product is picked up. The workers earn a few shillings, but they have a secret. They have been using a mechanical carding machine. They turn a crank (or lead a donkey), the cylinder turns and the fibers SEPARATE AUTOMATICALLY! Even at the paltry sums they are receiving, a machine can be paid for in 4 years. Lewis Paul of Birmingham is the inventor and he patents his machine this year, but he has been using it in secret since 1742! [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The flying shuttle loom (which cuts labor costs in half) is just coming into use in commercial numbers. Just wait until the Spinning Wheel and the Spinning Jenny are introduced in the 1750s and 60s. British revenues from the production of wool and cotton products will jump from £200,000 pounds sterling annually (about $24 million in 2014 dollars) to £40 million pounds (or almost 5 billion dollars!) annually by the 1830s. I've provided a link to a video tutorial on how to produce yarn using a drop spindle. It is so simple, you will wonder why you aren't doing it yourself... that is... until you've done it by hand for a few hours. Then you will know why. It's for small jobs but once you see a drop spindle you will soon realize that you can make one yourself out of a hook, a dowel and a coffee can lid. Then all you need is a sheep to sit still for just two minutes! [3] [4] [5]

Elimination of the Income Tax... DENIED!

King Louis the 15th of France has been piling up the bills so a few years ago he imposed an 10% income tax across the board. This is the 3rd time he has imposed such a tax and everyone hates it. He promised to eliminate the income tax entirely once the War of Austrian Succession was concluded. Well... with the signing of the treaty this year, that war is concluded, but the treasurer complains that the debt is too high. He calls for the King to continue the tax until the debt is paid down. Reluctantly the King agrees, but the complaints are so loud that he reduces the tax from 10% to 5% except for pensions and salaries for government offices. Next year, the treasurer will discover that the government can't do without this vital source of revenue and the income tax will become a permanent feature of French life. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I remember many of the promises Bill Clinton made when he was running for President. A few weeks after he took office, he came before the American people with his head hung low. He said he had never worked harder in his life to find a way to reduce taxes like he had promised but he just couldn't find a way. In fact, he actually RAISED taxes, and made it retroactive to the beginning of the year... BEFORE he took office! The radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, was counting the days of "America Held Hostage" when Bill Clinton took office on January 20, 1993 until a caller pointed out that the retroactive tax meant that America had been held hostage from January 1st... not January 20th. Rush changed the count, adding 20 days. It would have been hilarious if it wasn't so sad. [9]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1748, Wikipedia.

Friday, March 18, 2016

History: The Year is 1747

I've uploaded year 1747 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Barmaids, Fishwives and WhatsApp (What's App) -- Women are running the taverns and fish markets so they connect with everyone. I talk about organizing for protests and how Brazil forced WhatsApp to shut down simply because its connection is encrypted.

The Discovery of Sugar in Beets -- A German chemist compares the crystals of beets and sugarcane and he proves that they are the same sugar. Sugar beet sugar won't go into production until 1802.

'I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!' -- John Paul Jones is born and he is crazy!

Barmaids, Fishwives and WhatsApp (What's App)

Knowledge is power, and women are in a position to gather that power... otherwise known as intelligence in the spy business. The women of Virginia gather intelligence information while working as bar maids and tavern managers. In fact, mid-level wives and widows have a stranglehold on the tavern business in the British colonies. In Holland, women are running the fish markets. Officially, men join the guilds, buy the fishmonger licenses and run the auctions, but their wives run the shops, conduct the sales and listen carefully. Women have a wider view of what is happening in business and in politics than their husbands do. Women have no official power, yet they know everyone, hear everything and when they get upset, they know how to make their feelings known. Political demonstrations and tax riots are plaguing Amsterdam this year and they will continue into next year... all organized by women. These women complain like fishwives... oh yeah. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Today we have a smartphones to coordinate our riots... uh... I mean, peaceful protests. When governments fear a popular revolt, the first thing they do is shutdown phone and Internet access. Recently (in December 2015) a Brazilian judge shut down WhatsApp Messenger to protect the civil rights of Brazilian citizens. (What a guy!) WhatsApp is a smartphone application that allows texting between users while circumventing the phone company's texting charges. (This is legal but it still torques off the phone company.) The connection is encrypted, so the judge demanded the user information. When the company refused, the judge ordered a shutdown. The phone company gleefully cut the WhatsApp connection! 100,000 users had done nothing wrong, but they lost their texting anyway. They could still make a phone call, though, so they called, and called and called. The judge ordered an immediate resumption of service. I've implied that WhatsApp is secure, but it's simply secure from knuckleheads... like Brazilian judges and Iranian government busy-bodies. Skype was once secure, but after Microsoft bought the company they started monitoring Skype connections for the protection of its users. Die, Microsoft. Die. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
"Three can keep a secret if two are dead." -- Benjamin Franklin.

The Discovery of Sugar in Beets

Currently, sugar comes from sugarcane. While people realize that other plants are sweet, they haven't been successful in extracting that sweetness and they are not even sure if that sweetness comes from sugar... until now. A.S. Marggraf is a chemist who is more of a experimentalist than a theorist. He chops up some beet root and boils it in alcohol. He stores the liquid in test tubes and allows the substance to crystallize. He uses a microscope to compare the crystal structure to sugarcane crystals. They are the same. He notes that beets can be substituted for sugarcane at a substantially lower cost, but beyond making some reasonably detailed observations (which is standard operating procedure for him) he does nothing else with the idea. Years after Marggraf's death, one of his students will experiment with beets and propose a commercial process for extracting sugar from beets. By 1802, beets will be processed for its sugar in commercial quantities. [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When I was in my 20s, I went on a cleansing juice diet that included lots of beet juice. I bought bags and bags of beets and used a Champion commercial juicer to pulverize them. After a month on this diet, I was pretty well burnt out. The diet worked out fine. I felt a lot better, but not about beets.

'I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!'

The reason John Paul "Jones" is not fighting yet is because he is born in Scotland this year to John Paul, the estate gardener and his wife, Jean. At the age of 13 he will go to sea as an apprentice. At 17 he will sign on as 3rd mate to a slaver ship and two years later he will be 1st mate transporting "77 Negroes from Africa." He will finally quit in disgust and take passage home on another ship. Along the voyage the captain and 1st mate will die of fever, leaving John Paul as the only one qualified to captain the ship. The owners will be so delighted they will make him master of the ship on the next voyage to America. (Now comes the bad part.) John Paul Jones is not his name. That is a name he will take after running a man through with his sword, and after some frivolous murder charge and all of that excellent commercial business in the West Indies he so loved. John Paul Jones will be known a pirate... in some circles. He will be famous for his volatile temper. He is often called the Father of the American Navy and Americans will still admire him into the modern day. [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
John Paul "Jones" was freakishly crazy. Just the kind of man you need to win a Revolution at sea against one of the greatest naval forces in the world. For example: in 1779, John Paul Jones took command of the USS Bon Homme Richard, a merchant vessel with 42 mounted guns. 42 guns can pack a punch, but they were smaller than a war ship carried. The ship itself was a merchant vessel and couldn't take much of a beating in battle. It's like mounting a Gatling gun on the back of a Toyota pick-up truck and expecting it to take on a Bradly Fighting Vehicle. As he led a five ship squadron, John Paul Jones engaged the HMS Serapis and her escorts. It was a bloody battle as Jones's ship was ripped apart. His ship was so battered that the captain of the Serapis thought that Jones had struck his colors in surrender. Jones shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!" Jones lashed his ship to the Serapis and fired across the deck. (I assume with grapeshot. Nothing else makes sense.) With Jone's ship on fire and sinking, and half the crew of both ships dead or wounded, the captain of HMS Serapis surrendered. Jones couldn't save the Richard. They cut it loose and it finally slipped beneath the waves. Did it really happen? I doubt that Jones really spoke all those cool lines. His biographer was a scandalous liar. What is true is that the battle was fought. Jones stood no chance and he won, anyway. And he was crazy. That part is definitely true. [15] [16] [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1747, Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

History: The Year is 1746

I've uploaded year 1746 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Turning Potatoes into Alcohol -- A Swedish Countess finds a way to turn an exotic greenhouse plant (A POTATO!) into food for the masses... and booze for the masses too.

Math, Music, and the Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge -- We are talking wave functions and the video of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.

Men in Skirts... DENIED! -- After Bonnie Prince Charlie fails to take back the crown of England and Scotland, King George the 2nd outlaws the kilt.

Turning Potatoes into Alcohol

Countess Eva Ekebladis of Sweden is one of the first women recognized for her abilities as a scientist. With the recent crop failures, she has been searching for ways to incorporate the newfangled potato into the Swedish agricultural plan. The potato is not new to the Swedes. The aristocracy have been growing them as an exotic plant since 1658, but the plant is unfamiliar to the peasantry. The Countess has experimented in turning potatoes into forms more familiar to the people. She has turned potatoes into flour and she has been very successful in turning potatoes into BOOZE! (You can hear the cheers across the countryside.) Her next project is to convince the people to actually eat potatoes... cooked. After sending her findings to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, she will be accepted as a member in 1748. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Potatoes took a long time to gain acceptance. Potatoes and tomatoes are related to the Deadly Nightshade (a poisonous plant). It took a little doing to convince people that these plants were edible. However, once they caught on as a food, the plants sustained Europe and China. Some historians claim that Europe's population gains could never have been sustained without the potato and during the America Revolution while the American colonists fought for freedom, Austria and Prussia were fighting over potatoes. Converting potatoes into booze seems reasonable. Aside from the obvious intoxicating properties, alcohol provides calories, it can be stored at room temperatures and alcohol is a preservative. The potato plant has an advantage over wheat because grains can be severely damaged in bad weather while potatoes lay protected under the soil. Of course potatoes are subject to disease. Only a few species were transported from the New World to Europe so that when disease or a pest struck a crop, it jumped quickly to every field. Ireland became so dependent on the potato that when a crop failed, famine and migration immediately followed. [4]

Math, Music, and the Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

The French mathematician Jean d'Alembert (deh-alm-BEAR), has an inspiring and creative mind. He is throwing ideas out left-and-right and because of this, a lot of theorems and ideas will bear his name. This year he will come up with a proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. That is, I can take the square root of any polynomial and expect to come up with a solution either as a real number or an imaginary number. It seems obvious, but try proving it mathematically. The other idea he tackles is the wave function. When you twang the string of a guitar, you see a vibration. If you could slow down the vibration you would see a one-dimensional wave. If you press your finger down at the mid-point, the frequency of the wave will be doubled and you will hear a higher-frequency tone. He describes this condition as tension in the wire verses the force applied and he provides a formula for calculating the properties of a wave in one dimension. This is not a full description but this start will help others come up with more complex solutions in 3 dimensions. [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The wave formula in one dimension is simple enough. It's like calculating what will happen when you grab one end of a rope and whip one end of it. The wave will travel along the rope and flip the other end a few seconds later. It gets more complex as the dimensions increase, but what use is it? The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in 1940 a few months after its completion. The wind across the bridge propagated a wave in the structure. The video shows the wave resonance flowing back and forth across the structure, as if a string on a musical instrument was plucked. About 2 minutes into the video a man makes his way across the bridge. He is the engineer who designed the bridge. He is trying to rescue a cocker spaniel abandoned in a car by its owner. The engineer receives a bite for his trouble so he leaves the dog in the car. The dog dies during the collapse of the bridge. Pieces of the bridge remain at the bottom of Puget Sound. It is one of the largest man-made reefs in the world and remains as a warning to engineers everywhere. [9] [10]

Men in Skirts... DENIED!

Bonnie Prince Charlie (the Stuart) has lost his bid for the thrones of Scotland and England. King George the 2nd is now cracking down on the rebellious Scottish clansmen who supported the "Young Pretender". All clansmen are disarmed, the clan leaders are driven into exile. Their estates are seized pending any legal claims, and their lands are managed by the Crown. The laws regarding inherited clan leadership are hereby abolished and the kilt, made of homespun tartan is prohibited. The kilt will remain on the prohibited list until 1782. That is, until this generation of rebels dies out. [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've seen kilts gain and lose popularity over the years. I don't see the sense of them in a wilderness setting. Pants and a good pair of boots seem more useful. According to the Bible, men should not dress like women, but a kilt is not a woman's dress. It seems masculine enough to me, so I might wear one for a ceremonial occasion though I can't imagine what that occasion would be. I am curious to hear what others think.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1746, Wikipedia.